Illamasqua Icons: Greta Garbo

When I think of Greta Garbo, I think beautiful, curved skinny eye brows, perfect cupid bow and one of the most strikingly symmetrical faces of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Garbo was a beautiful actressm, of Nordic origin, who became legendary for her beauty and enigmatic personality. In 1955, she received an Honorary Oscar for “unforgettable screen performances” and has subsequently been ranked as the fifth greatest female star of all time by the Ameican Film Insitute. She was also one of only a handful of actresses to successfully make the transition between silent and “talkies” movies.

Get The Look

Prepping the skin with Matt Primer With SPF 20 is a great start – Garbo loved her skin pale and milky. On top of this, Rich Liquid Foundation, buffed in with a Highlighter Brush would ensure maximum, flawless coverage [and would have made Garbo’s skin perfect under the harsh set lights]

Garbo’s cheekbones were sharp enough to not need any contouring, but I would suggest Powder Blusher in ‘Risk’ or ‘Mischief’ depending on your skin tone, to create the illusion for those of us not so blessed!

The arches look very pencilled, so try Fine Pencil in ‘Peace’ to lightly trace them in. If you have thick brows, Alex Box taught me a trick of using an old toothbrush, rubbing it in soap, and then slicking your brows back against your skin. Stipple on Rich Liquid Foundation and they just disappear; it’s quite extraordinary. You can then line on top of this. Highlight underneath with Powder Eye Shadow in ‘Sex’ to keep the look matt.

To enhance the depth of her eyes, Garbo has exaggerated her crease line using a cut crease technique – this means minimal blending! I would try a deep slate grey Powder Eye Shadow such as ‘Gimp’.

A slick of Eye Liner Cake in ‘Mislead’ mixed with a drop of Sealing Gel would complete the eye look. Our Eye Liner Cake’s were designed with the traditional cakes of the 1920s in mind, so the finish and packaging would be very similar to what Garbo would have used!

Alex Box once told me that actresses in black and white movies used to paint their lips all kind of colours to create different effects of grey within the movie and to add alluring depth to their faces. What a challenge! Garbo would have used a dusky pink for this kind of finish – I love Lipstick in ‘Resist’ for a beautiful matt result.

Otherwise, we do have a grey Intense Lipgloss for the ultra brave – ‘Liaison’ is a thick cement grey.

Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert